Casual Style Upgrades - IMBOLDN
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It’s a fashion woe as old as time. You reach into your closet and pull out the same thing. Every day. Without fail. You’re normally fine with it—but you’ve been feeling a little twinge lately. Could it be that the reliable polo shirt, pressed chinos, plain white tees, rugged jeans, and simple work boots aren’t quite satisfying your sartorial senses anymore? It’s entirely possible, and with good reason. The good news is that it’s easy to break out of your style rut with a minor tweaks. Here are five quick ways to give your casual looks a boost.

Swap Those Tees

T-shirts may be inimitably classic, but they’re also far too easy to fall back on. You likely have a stock of tees that you trust—nay, swear by—when you’re feeling a little lazy or simply aren’t inspired enough to conjure up anything particularly creative. That’s fine, and no one is commanding you to lose your tees altogether. But instant wardrobe elevation is possible when you begin wearing actual shirts in lieu of tees. Yes, even a pair of casual, hyper-relaxed pants looks sensible when you balance it with a crisp button-down, like this Ted Baker London Timothy Slim Fit Cotton Jersey Shirt ($155).

Ted Baker London Timothy Slim Fit Cotton Jersey Shirt

Add Some Accessories

Did your mom ever tell you that accessories make the outfit? It’s not just applicable to women’s fashion. The addition of one or two key accents will instantly smarten up your outfit in unthinkable ways. You wouldn’t expect your cargo shirts and short-sleeve button-down to look particularly spectacular, but simply adding a sophisticated watch will shake things up without appearing as though you’ve gone the extra mile to look different. If your wardrobe skews more traditional, a handsome timepiece in a simple metal or neutral leather, like this MVMT Voyager Bronze Age ($160), is an excellent choice. But if adventure is your middle name, don’t shy away from something quirky and colorful.

MVMT Voyager Bronze Age

Tailor Your Clothing

Hopefully you and your tailor are already thick as thieves, but if you barely know the guy’s name it’s time to start making the connection. Clothes that fit well are, at a bare minimum, an essential for any man. Ill-fitting attire does you no favors, even when you’re running around town running errands. 

It’s time to make nice with a qualified, skilled tailor who will take the time to understand your fit.

So if your jeans tend to drag, your shirt sleeves cover the tops of your hands, your jacket slopes a bit too far down, and you avoid wearing your suits at all costs because you look like you’re playing a game of dress-up, it’s time to make nice with a qualified, skilled tailor who will take the time to understand your fit.

Focus on Fabric

Great fabric is, in a word, everything. It has the ability to make or break the entire tone of your outfit. Imagine the possibility: you’re at a summer wedding in what you think is your finest suit—only the material feels like it’s about to slough your skin right off. Itchiness and irritation should never be a part of the equation, which is why soft, touchable fabrics are always safe bets. Of course, the season plays a strong role here, too. You may be naturally drawn to materials like corduroy and tweed when temperatures drop, and far more inclined to wear seersucker and linen in the summer. Be practical—and always comfortable.

Wear Ankle Boots

Gone are the days when ankle boots were merely a sturdy standby for hands-on workers in the field. Today this shoe is as versatile as ever, with options for every facet of your life.

Aquatalia Vladimir Tumbled Embossed Leather Ankle Boots

Sure, you can invest in a foolproof, hardy pair that channels your inner outdoorsman—these Polo Ralph Lauren Ranger Boots ($195) are sharp enough to wear with anything from jeans to smart black pants. But you’ll need a pair for your professional pursuits, too, and these Aquatalia Vladimir Tumbled Embossed Leather Ankle Boots ($595) will meet your needs beautifully.